Highlights from the London Design Festival 2018

From a tunnel of onions to prismatic plexiglass and other visual wonders

“One in six Londoners work in the creative industries,” reveals Ben Evans, who just happens to be one of the reasons the city’s creative economy is in such good shape. In 2003, Evans and Sir John Sorrell founded the London Design Festival (LDF), and since, it’s become one of the most eagerly anticipated annual design events around the world. As LDF kicks off this year, one component …

Celebrating European Craft at Homo Faber, Venice

Far from a traditional design festival, this island event shows artisans at work

Two years in the making, Venice’s Homo Faber: Crafting a More Human Future, a new biennial fair, celebrates the range and depth of fine craftwork in Europe. On now through 30 September, the two-week event includes 16 exhibitions and an extensive program of talks celebrating not the past, but the vision of a possible future. Created by the Geneva-based Michelangelo Foundation—founded by Johann Rupert (CEO of the Richemont Group) and …

Ise Gropius aka Mrs Bauhaus

Walter Gropius is the name most commonly attached to the wildly influential Bauhaus movement, but his wife Ise was an equally significant creative partner. Oftentimes remembered as a “widow, archivist, interpreter and promoter of his work,” Ise has her own powerful legacy beyond this. As Katy Kelleher writes for Artsy, “From her handmade headdresses to her carefully planted garden to her experiments with photography, Ise’s entire life …

Chika Kako, Lexus Chief Engineer, Discusses the First-Ever UX

A manga character helped the design team make the right tweaks to the all-new vehicle

When Chika Kako, the first woman chief engineer at Lexus, saw designs for the brand’s all-new UX subcompact crossover, she thought of childhood days spent watching anime cartoons with her brother. The SUV’s rear lights reminded her of Mazinger Z, a hulking manga robot on the small screen in the late 70’s and early 80’s. It was a good look for an animated character, she …

North America’s Cabin Typology Explored

In the Cabin Fever exhibition, at the Vancouver Art Gallery, dozens of images, artifacts and paraphernalia trace the development of the North American cabin—from the 1600s to present day. Stepping beyond architecture and typology, the exhibit addresses the cabin’s changing role in culture—from simple shelter to idyllic lodging. Curated by California-based writer Jennifer M Volland, the gallery’s senior curator Bruce Grenville, and associate curator Stephanie …